American Cruise Lines, Guilford, Conn., plans to build four new riverboats for U.S. river cruising. Construction of the first two are underway, with delivery expected in the spring of 2015. The two boats will carry between 150 and 200 passengers and cruise the Mississippi River and the Columbia-Snake River systems. In 2012, ACL introduced the Queen of the Mississippi, the first new ship on the river in nearly 20 years. The additional new ships will have many of the same modern features including large staterooms and private balconies. The new boats will be built at the company’s Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland.

In December, Austal USA completed the launch of the littoral combat ship Jackson (LCS 6). So far, Austal has been contracted to build 12 417' trimaran LCSes for the Navy. The Jackson is the first of 10 Independence-variant LCS-class ships Austal has been contracted to build for the Navy as prime contractor subsequent to a $3.5 billion block buy in 2010. The LCS program is in full swing at the yard with several ships currently under construction. Coronado (LCS 4), delivered to the Navy in September, will be officially commissioned in Coronado, Calif., in April. Montgomery (LCS 8) is being assembled in preparation for launch in the spring. Construction is underway in Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) on the Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12). Fabrication on Manchester (LCS 14) is scheduled to begin in early 2014.

Yank Marine, Tuckahoe, N.J., will build two new Hudson River passenger ferries for New York Waterway, Weehawken, N.J. The 110' boats will carry up to 350 passengers at 24 knots. The new contract is the first major order for Yank Marine since the 2007 recession. Company president Bette Jean Yank said the yard will hire about 25 more workers.